Everything you need to know about Michigan's 6th congressional district race

  • Fourteen-term incumbent Rep. Fred Upton will face Democrat Jon Hoadley in Michigan's 6th congressional district.
  • The district is located in southwest Michigan and contains all of Berrien, Cass, St. Joseph, Van Buren, and Berrien counties.
  • If elected, Hoadley would become the first openly gay person to represent Michigan in Congress.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Fourteen-term incumbent Rep. Fred Upton will square off against Democrat Jon Hoadley to represent Michigan's 6th congressional district. 

The candidates

Upton, the former Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, has been in office since 1986. He was a member of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan. His campaign platform includes plans to lower prescription drug prices, ending the country's opioid epidemic, and making Michigan communities safer.

Mark Miller, the former chairman of the 6th Congressional District Democrats, told the Associated Press that he believes Upton walks a narrow path to avoid angering his Republican and Democratic bases.

"What we've heard year after year from those voters is 'Good old Fred. He's a good guy. He's OK by me,'" said Miller, who additionally said that Upton's vote against impeaching President Donald Trump will likely change the minds of independent voters. "The question is: Will it be enough?"

Hoadley, Upton's Democratic challenger, is in his third term as a state representative for Michigan's 6th state district. He currently serves on the state's Appropriations Committee and is a member of the Michigan Democrat's LGBT and Allies Caucus. If elected, he would become the first openly gay person to represent Michigan in Congress.

The district

Michigan's 6th congressional district is located in the state's southwest region. The district is home to all of Berrien, Cass, St. Joseph, Van Buren, and Berrien counties and part of Allegan County.

The district has traditionally leaned Republican, with President Donald Trump carrying it by eight points in 2016, but has shown indications that it could be competitive for Democrats this cycle.  

As Upton won re-election by a little over four points in 2018, Republican Senate candidate John James carried the district by a margin of three points over incumbent Sen. Debbie Stabenow, and Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer almost exactly tied GOP gubernatorial candidate Bill Schuette, 42.2% to 42.38%, in the district, according to the Daily Kos. 

The money race

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Upton has raised $2.1 million – about $800,000 more than Hoadley with $1.3 million. Approaching November, Hoadley has only $410,000 in cash remaining compared to Upton's $1.4 million.

What experts say

The race between Upton and Hoadley is rated as "likely Republican" by Inside Elections and "leans Republican" by The Cook Political Report and Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

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